Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” We have all heard of the power of positive thinking. Look at life as the glass being half full, rather than half empty. And for many of us, we may have had experiences that would confirm this outlook on life, while having other experiences that did just the opposite. Positive thinking is not a magic formula by which we can think about that lottery ticket and behold, it is the winner! Having positive thoughts about obtaining that dream home certainly does not sign the finance and closing documents to put the keys in your hand. And unfortunately, when we are in need of employment, positive thinking doesn’t bring employers knocking at our door. However, when searching for a new job opportunity, thinking positively about the process certainly empowers us to be successful in our search.
Consider this situation: A man named John applies for a job. He tends to be a negative thinker and when he applies for the job, finds it unlikely that he will get it because someone better, and more experienced will win over the hiring manager. As a result, he doesn’t mentally prepare for the interview by thinking of questions that may be asked and how he would answer. He doesn’t take any time to research the company or explore the job description in depth. On the morning of his interview, John oversleeps, and when he gets dressed, discovers his best suit has a stain on it he never had cleaned. Because he has to find something to wear, he is delayed and late to the interview, causing him to be out of sorts upon arrival. He is able to answer most of the questions asked of him but stumbles on his words a few times and has a hard time explaining how he could benefit the organization.
John may get the job, but the process would have looked quite different had he began with a positive outlook. His positivity and belief he could get the job would have empowered him to be proactive in his preparation. Perhaps he would have looked up the company’s website and read on its history. Maybe he would have given some forethought to what he would wear and had that suit dry cleaned. John would have gone to bed early in order to wake up in time for a nice breakfast and ample time for the commute. And most importantly, he would have completed the interview with confidence, being able to adequately sell himself as a professional and a good fit for the job. Then, even if John doesn’t get the job, he knows that he was proactive in doing all things in his control and anything outside of that is out of his hands. Overall, his chance of receiving a job offer along the way would have likely improved.
Job seeking can often be a long road, and at times seem very stressful and difficult. By taking Churchill’s advice and seeing this time as an optimist, filled with opportunity, we better present ourselves to potential employers while further increasing our chances of landing a great job!